Transcoronary gradients of HDL-associated MicroRNAs in unstable coronary artery disease

Int J Cardiol. 2018 Feb 15:253:138-144. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2017.09.190.


Aims: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are transported on high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) and HDL-associated miRNAs are involved in intercellular communication. We explored HDL-associated miRNAs concentration gradients across the coronary circulation in stable and unstable coronary artery disease patients and whether changes in the transcoronary gradient were associated with changes in HDL composition and size.

Methods: Acute coronary syndrome (ACS, n=17) patients, those with stable coronary artery disease (stable CAD, n=19) and control subjects without CAD (n=6) were studied. HDLs were isolated from plasma obtained from the coronary sinus (CS), aortic root (arterial blood) and right atrium (venous blood). HDL-associated miRNAs (miR-16, miR-20a, miR-92a, miR-126, miR-222 and miR-223) were quantified by TaqMan miRNA assays. HDL particle sizes were determined by non-denaturing polyacrylamide gradient gel electrophoresis. HDL composition was measured immunoturbidometrically or enzymatically.

Results: A concentration gradient across the coronary circulation was observed for all the HDL-associated miRNAs. In ACS patients, there was a significant inverse transcoronary gradient for HDL-associated miR-16, miR-92a and miR-223 (p<0.05) compared to patients with stable CAD. Changes in HDL-miRNA transcoronary gradients were not associated with changes in HDL composition or size.

Conclusion: HDLs are depleted of miR-16, miR-92a and miR-223 during the transcoronary passage in patients with ACS compared to patients with stable CAD.

Keywords: HDL; Transcoronary gradient and Coronary artery disease; microRNAs.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / blood*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Occlusion / blood*
  • Coronary Occlusion / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood*
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / blood*


  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • MicroRNAs